A lot has changed at TUHH – most notably its name. The institution is now called the Technical University of Hamburg. The addition “Harburg” has been dropped so that the university is abel to sharpen its image internationally. There has also been a change at the top of the university.
President Prof. Garabed Antranikian has retired at the age of 67. His successor is Professor Dr Ed Brinksma from the Netherlands. At a ceremony for his inauguration Brinksma said he was planning to continue the path taken by his predecessor. It doesn’t sound like a big change, but then it doesn’t have to – I believe that the TU is on the right track.
At the political level it has been decided that the TU, which currently has nearly 8.000 students, is to grow. Those in charge are hoping to increase the university’s capacity and to boost funding for research and development in such a way that student numbers will soon reach 10.000. The Senate of the City of Hamburg has increased the univerity’s budget by 19 million Euros. I consider it a good decision that the range of courses is to be expanded not only subject-specific areas but also in the social field.
IMPACT ON SOCIETY
I myself offer a seminar at TU Hamburg that belongs in the non-technical area. The point is to teach engineers think outside the box and to raise their awareness for social developments. Something that I emphasise again and again in my seminar is the fact that even if you make the greatest invention of the century it won’t do you any good unless you’re also able to convince investors, politics and consumers, that it’s the best invention of the century. And you must be able to assess its impact on society – otherwise your the invention can become a boomerang. I am very grateful to Professor Antranikian for strengthening the social component at the university as well as supporting sustainable procurement. I appreciate that he will remain with the university as a researcher (and hopefully will continues to cook with students and professors?).
In his previous position Professor Brinksma was the President of the University of Twente in the Netherlands. I know this university well as it has a focus on sustainability and is involved with the Cradle to Cradle design concept. I am hopeful that Professor Brinksma will also apply this concept of thinking and innovation in his new position at the TU Hamburg. His credo after all is “innovation through interaction”. It would be a pleasure for me!